Earlier in the week Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA.) penned an editorial over at Politico that takes aim at parenting and deflects the idea that video games are to blame for violent crimes in America. The editorial title sums up Hunter's thoughts on the top pretty succinctly: "Target parenting, not games for violence."
Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.
A scathing editorial on Huffington Post from Craig Aaron, CEO and President of online rights advocacy group Free Press, calls AT&T out for its handling of the FaceTime app and for violating Net Neutrality rules. The editorial is in response to AT&T's restrictions on using Apple's FaceTime app for iOS devices, which Aaron calls a "clear violation of Net Neutrality."
In Episode 5 of the Annoyed Gamer over at GameTrailersTV, Marcus Beer talks about fanboyism and the need for games journalists to grow up a little. It's an interesting episode that makes a lot of good points about how being a fanboy or fangirl is natural and prevalent in other areas of life like politics, favorite sports teams, and favorite brands.
You can check the video out at Gametrailers.com or watch it to your left.
Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.
After several editorials called Electronic Arts out for including links to real world weapons to promote the new Medal of Honor game, the company has decided to discontinue the practice. The real down-side to this news is that the money generated from those real-world weapon sales was going directly to the charity Project Honor.
An editorial in the Baltimore Sun written by former White House and Pentagon official Douglas MacKinnon laments the "lessons lost" that could have come out of the Aurora, Colorado shooting about what the author calls "a culture that desensitizes us to violence." While his general sentiment that there are lessons to be learned about the shooting, what those lessons are or might be are up for debate.
States across the Union are passing or debating laws that will make online gambling legal, either for their entire state, or – as is the case being discussed in New Jersey, presently – just in certain cities/areas. These legislative changes may represent a shifting in the ideals of voters, but the impetus is most certainly tax revenue and perceived job creation.
Last week we presented the news that a "First Sale Doctrine" case (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons) was headed to the Supreme Court. Some journalists were sounding alarm bells that an outcome in favor of the publisher in the case could have a serious impact on how people sell used products such as books, DVD's and even video games.
Eurogamer has two great editorials on Diablo III - one called "Always Online: What Diablo 3's Battle.net Does Right " and another called "Always Online: What Diablo 3's Battle.net Does Wrong." Both make valid points about the game and its requirement that players always be connected to Battle.net - even when playing the single-player campaign
Last week FortressCraft creator Adam Sawkins had some colorful words for Minecraft creator Notch and his community after a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on his game's website took it offline. It also happened to be the day that Minecraft launched on Xbox Live Arcade. Hmmm. He called the police too.
In a new editorial on Games Industry International, Matt Plotecher, a game designer at casual and social studio Arkadium, argues that BioWare's "Mass Effect 3 game ending controversy could be a "watershed moment" for the growth of the medium. His overall point is that games have moved past the argument of whether or not they are a valid form of expression.
Recently a contingent of highly motivated constituents went to Washington D.C., led by the Entertainment Consumer Association’s Hal Halpin and Jenn Mercurio, to talk to lawmakers about policies that affect consumers such as PIPA, SOPA, ACTA, and more. Josh Hughes, Lead Game Designer at Kaizen Games, was one of those people, and below he shares his experiences. This article originally appeared on the Kaizen Games Blog and is reprinted below with their kind permission.
If you are a fan of propaganda and that classic art form of stretching the truth, then you might want to check out this New York Times editorial penned by RIAA CEO Cary Sherman. In it he claims that technology companies like Google and Wikipedia were the only driving force behind the letter writing campaigns to lawmakers and website blackouts that happened in protest of SOPA last month.
By Kevin Dent
I started to play Triple Town as of last weekend; I had a blast and even more so when I see that they were actively supporting it with frequent updates. Then I started to hear some rumblings in the industry about how another game basically ripped it off.
Since then, we have seen Spry Fox issue proceedings against Lolapps. Most of us have read about it and shook our heads; I want to take the rhetoric out of it. I wanted to just look at the basic facts.
Walshy Addresses SOPA/PIPA
By Dave Walsh, ECA Pro Gaming Chapter Pres.
There are still many people out there that don’t know about, or are misinformed regarding two very concerning pieces of legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect IP Act (PIPA). The names of these bills sound noble enough, but the effects that they will have if passed will be devastating.
Left-leaning political blog DailyKOS joins the editorial pages of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times in opposition of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. In a post titled "Congress is close to destroying the internet (no hyperbole)," DailyKOS says that it is not hyperbole when they say that lawmakers, big Pharmaceutical companies, and the recording, and movie industries are out to destroy the internet.
I'm all for letters to the editor, but one written by one Tina L. Bechtel, is particularly over the top and needs to be read to be believed. The Marysville, California mother of at least one son (at least the one she mentions in her letter) delivers what she calls her "long-overdue reaction to the 'supreme sellout' of our children," referring to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Brown v. EMA case.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper has a rather strongly-worded editorial about what they see as EA's over-manipulation of the United States Tax code. The op-ed piece, a response to the New York Times piece on Sunday that basically outed EA for its practices, calls on the U.S. government to end "unfair tax breaks" for big corporations and to offer those incentives to smaller, more-deserving start-ups.
If you think that the cease and desist letter Bethesda sent Minecraft developer Mojang over plans to use the word "Scrolls" in its next game is ridiculous, then Andrew Eisen's latest video will make a lot of sense. After all, if one company can go after another for "Scrolls" then they can go after anyone for any other seemingly innocuous or common word. Take the word "the," for example...
GamePolitics Contributing Editor and Maryland intellectual property attorney Daniel Rosenthal offers and in-depth analysis of Bill S. 978 (also known as the "anti-streaming bill") in this guest editorial.
S.978, the "anti-streaming bill" has been introduced in Congress, apparently in response to the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Legislation Recommendations white paper (PDF), which recommended to Congress that they should amend the Copyright Act to "clarify that [copyright] infringement by streaming . . . is a felony in appropriate circumstances." While that seems innocuous enough on its face, the bill presented by the bipartisan trio led by Sen. Klobuchar is deeply flawed for a number of reasons.
Mark Methenitis finally delivers a Law of the Game column over on Joystiq that tackles the Brown v. EMA Supreme Court decision. First he apologizes for the delay, then jumps right into the important take-aways that impact the industry and the public.
A San Francisco Chronicle guest editorial by George A. Rose, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, takes San Francisco mayoral candidate, State Senator (D-San Francisco) and anti-game crusader Leland Yee to task for his promise to continue to fight for a violent videogame law. This even after a bitter defeat and a strong rebuke at the hands of seven U.S. Supreme Court Justices, no less. The gist of the editorial is that many of Yee's misguided policies and political grandstanding costs money that California doesn't have right now.
In an editorial entitled "Your mom will hate 'Dead Space 2,' but does anyone care?," writer Tim Dunn ponders why EA's marketing department has used a technique usually used for teens and children for a mature rated game. Further, he wonders why EA would even think about using such a campaign when the Supreme Court is hearing a case about keeping ultra violent video games out of the hands of you children.
While his comments might seems a little overblown, he points out some valid concerns as well. He mentions mature games such as Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption, which carry a mature rating because they are telling stories and tackling topics that are geared towards adults. The Dead Space 2 campaign plays on "juvenile notions of maturity gamers have worked hard to change." In other words, the marketing for the game takes that fight a step back.
Here is more from Dunn:
An editorial penned by conservative firebrand and regular Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin calls net neutrality "Obamacare" for the Internet. Malkin says that net neutrality is really about expanding the government's control of the Internet, and less about protecting consumers from big corporations. Speaking about the FCC's vote on Tuesday, Malkin describes it this way:
"The panel will devise convoluted rules governing Internet service providers, bandwidth use, content, prices and even disclosure details on Internet speeds. The "neutrality" is brazenly undermined by preferential treatment toward wireless broadband networks."
She goes on to compare it to Obamacare, in that it provides less access, not more:
The Star Press (which describes itself as the "news source for East Central Indiana") writer Jeffrey M.. McCall pens a two-page editorial called "Violent video games not an issue worthy of First Amendment protection," in which he attempts to lay out a case for Schwarzenegger v. EMA.
First, an explanation as to what the author thinks the entertainment industry really wants.. apparently it isn't freedom of expression:
In a response to a recent Tampa Tribune Editorial Board editorial backing California's efforts to ban the sale of violent video games to minors (called "Videos kids shouldn't play"), psychologist (and associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Texas A&M International University) Christopher Ferguson pens a strong series of counter-points.
Among the litany of valid points made by Ferguson, is the emphasis on the fact that science just does not support what the state of California is trying to prove; a conclusive correlation between playing violent video games and violent behavior.
Instead of running down all of Ferguson's points, here are a few samples from the article:
An article penned by the Editorial Board of the Oregonian calls violent games “poison to the teen mind,” and cites “a fragmented but growing body of research,” to back its hopes that the California legislation will at least “find footing” in order to “set a promising example.”
The opinion piece states that Schwarzenegger vs EMA is not exclusively about free speech, since the law does not seek an outright ban on violent games.
The California law, according to the Oregonian, would “simply prevent the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell ‘Postal 2’ to a 14-year-old.”
The editorial continued, stating:
An interesting post on Game | Life report (called "BioShock Infinite’s Vision of a Nazified America") takes a closer look at BioShock Infinite in an attempt to ascertain what the political message and creepy undertones Irrational has employed for its latest BioShock game. Interestingly, the topic and the underlying settings of the game seems to be focused on the turn-of-the-century proliferation of beliefs (and subsequent laws) based on "eugenics," which is described by this Wikipedia entry as "the study and practice of selective breeding applied to humans with the aim of improving the species."